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Can Science and Technology Save China?$
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Susan Greenhalgh and Li Zhang

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747021

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747021.001.0001

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The Good Scientist and the Good Multinational

The Good Scientist and the Good Multinational

Managing the Ethics of Industry-Funded Health Science

(p.139) 6 The Good Scientist and the Good Multinational
Can Science and Technology Save China?

Susan Greenhalgh

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the practice of ethics in the making of Chinese obesity science. A disease in itself and a risk factor for many other diseases, obesity's prevalence is rising rapidly around the world, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to label it one of the greatest public health threats of the century. Obesity is also a pressing concern because the private industry is intensely interested in the condition. Companies in the soda and fast food industries, widely seen as major contributors to the obesity epidemic, have sought to protect their profits from core foods and beverages by reshaping the scientific narrative about the causes of and solutions to the epidemic. The chapter considers the case of a prominent nutritionist and chronic disease specialist, Chen Chunming, who, after decades as a government health researcher and official and facing limited state funding for chronic disease work, in the early 1990s established an NGO-type organization that took the lead in naming and addressing the obesity epidemic in China.

Keywords:   obesity, science, disease, World Health Organization, public health, fast food, obesity epidemic, Chen Chunming, chronic disease, China

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